Dean of the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Ghana, Prof. Matilda Steiner-Asiedu is calling on the government to regularly organize training sessions for persons appointed to oversee matters concerning the nutritional development in the country.
According to her, such training will go a long way to tackle what she describes as poverty in nutritional knowledge among persons working within the nutrition space in Ghana.
She added that the training will also ensure that they would be able to come up with policies that will help reduce malnutrition among the populace.
Delivering an inaugural lecture at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Prof. Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, mentioned that the country’s quest to become a developed one can only be achieved if the nutrition of its citizens is prioritized.
She mentioned that the country was facing the triple burden of malnutrition – underweight, overweight and hidden hunger, and thus government must take quick steps to implement policies that will promote good nutrition.
Prof. Steiner-Asiedu also called for more attention to be paid on the nutrition of the aged.
She was of the view that the aged, in terms of nutritional care, were marginalized; making their nutritional situation continue to worsen.
Prof. Steiner-Asiedu also bemoaned the bad nutritional habits of some pregnant women.
She stated that geophagia, which is the eating of the soil, among pregnant women is on the rise, likewise the habit of drinking alcohol.
Aside from calling for an all hand-on deck, approach in tackling malnutrition, the Nutrition lecturer outlined some steps to be taken to improve the dietary situation of the country.
“Good nutrition is fundamental in sustaining effective human capital development. Consequently, an all-hands-on-deck approach is required to help remove barriers to optimal nutrition. Some proven pillars that can be adapted to improve on nutrition in Ghana include; (i) diversification of our diet (ii) fortification of our staples among other foods- like snacks, oils, etc. (iii) bio-fortification of crops like potatoes, cassava, etc and (iv) supplementation when necessary. To enforce these, nutritional education and advocacy to the populace by trained professionals is key to help scale up nutrition.”
The lecture was on the topic “The Nutrition Landscape in Ghana: Implications on our Human Resources and National Development”.